February 21, 1947 - February 27, 2019
Jill Thatcher Jenkins 1947 - 2019 Jill (Thatcher) Jenkins, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, age 72, passed away unexpectedly on February 27, 2019, due to complications from a heart attack. She was surrounded by loved ones when she passed. Jill left behind a legacy of love, faith, laughter, and service that will be felt and cherished by her family and friends. Jill was born on February 21, 1947, in Nampa, Idaho to Reid Thatcher and Sylvia Read. Some of her favorite memories growing up were designing and sewing doll clothes with her mother, sewing clothes for herself, rollerblading, spending time outdoors, and camping with her family. Jill was a determined youth, worked hard in school, and excelled at math. While attending Brigham Young University, Jill met the love of her life and her eternal companion, Dennis Jenkins. The two shared a passion for family history work and a desire to put God first in their lives. They were married and sealed for time and all eternity on June 17, 1967, in the Los Angeles California Temple. Jill and Dennis were blessed with nine children, forty-five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Those who know Jill and Dennis can attest to their deep love for one another. Together, they shared a vivacity for life and a desire to make a profound impact for good in the world. They enjoyed serving together in many capacities, including as Sunday School and Institute teachers and as temple workers in both the Provo and City Center Temples. Their mutual love for family history continued, and as a couple, they found and submitted almost 25,000 names for temple work. As husband and wife, Dennis and Jill served four missions together as representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple served in Utica, New York, helping with Church education; in Aman, Jordan, representing LDS Charities; in Pensacola, Florida, as member support; and in Provo, Utah with the LDS Employment Center. In each of these locations, Jill gave her whole heart and effort to helping others and serving the Lord. As parents, Jill and Dennis worked hard to provide for their large family of nine children. Together with two of their sons, they are part-owners and founders of two companies: BearCom Building Services and CleanTelligent Software. Combined, the companies have over 40 employees. Jill had an incredible love for the Lord and a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She believed in the power of prayer and that God wants to help guide us in our daily lives. Jill desired to be in tune with the Holy Ghost and was fearless when following direction from God. Throughout her life, she was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and loved participating in the visiting teaching and ministering programs of the Church. Jill sought out opportunities to serve individuals and families that needed extra love and friendship. Our family most recognizes the love that Jill demonstrated daily to her husband and their posterity as her crowning accomplishment. Jill was a devoted mother who put her family first. When one of her children needed to talk, she always took time out of her day to listen. Her children reflect on Jill’s dedication to caring for them when they were sad, teaching them to read, forgiving and not judging, and creating joyful memories together. A favorite memory of many of Jill’s children is making stained-glass cookies at Christmas time and visiting nursing homes every Christmas Eve, giving small Christmas gifts to each resident. Jill was spunky and would joke how she was sometimes a “nuisance.” She found enjoyment in being silly with her grandkids and great-grandkids and occasionally playing harmless jokes on them and her husband. Her family will always remember her as the queen of Rummikub. It was Jill’s favorite hobby, and she played multiple times every day. Jill also loved music and was an accomplished violinist - playing for over 60 years. Other hobbies throughout her life included water coloring, listening to books, singing, water aerobics, racquetball, and flower gardening. When she was prompted to return to school after her youngest daughter entered kindergarten, Jill did it. She had a passion for learning that led her to complete not only her bachelor's degree, but a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and a Ph.D. in International Literacy. Jill used the knowledge gained from her degrees to implement literacy programs at the Utah State Prison and to later create Worldwide Access to Literacy - a nonprofit organization focused on helping children improve their reading through writing their own books and peer tutoring. Through Worldwide Access to Literacy, she has helped improve reading for thousands of children in three different countries. Additionally, the nonprofit has donated thousands of books to schools in the United States and Africa. Jill was adventurous and took action when she saw a problem to solve. Her passport is full of stamps from her time both living and visiting overseas to improve literacy. Destinations included Syria, Uganda, and South Africa, as well as visits across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, for educational conferences and as a tour director for BYU Travel Study. In the 1980s, while living in Lawrence, Kansas, Jill and a group of women in the community created the Lawrence Latin American Refugee Committee. This committee helped house refugees from Central America as they awaited asylum in Canada. Jill and Dennis even opened their own home to two teenage refugees for a year, as well as multiple foster children. Like Paul in the New Testament, we rejoice that Jill can say, “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” Now that her earthly mission has concluded, she is surely serving God in a different capacity. We keenly feel her loss, but look forward to the day that we will be reunited once more. Jill is preceded in death by her parents, Reid Thatcher and Sylvia Read, her brother Curg Thatcher and wife, Ruth Maxine Cutlip, her daughter-in-law, Connie Larsen, and her grandson twins Joseph and Joshua (stillborn). Jill will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She is survived by her eternal companion, Dennis Jenkins; her children, David (Alisa) Jenkins, Becky (Lee) Irons, Michael (Faye) Jenkins, Jared (Jana) (Connie, deceased) Jenkins, Joseph (Tara) Jenkins, Mark (Jessica) Jenkins, Jacob (Sarah) Jenkins, Rachel (David) Jensen, Deba (Bryce) Masterson; forty-three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Theodore (Huntley) Thatcher and Terry (Linda) Thatcher. The viewing and funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 6, at the Hobble Creek 4th Ward church building located at 1460 East 900 South, Springville, UT. The viewing will take place between 12:00 - 1:45 PM and the funeral services will begin at 2:00 PM. Jill’s body will be laid to rest until the resurrection at the Historic Springville City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Worldwide Access to Literacy over the phone or in-person at any Utah Community Credit Union location or at the following link: https://donorbox.org/in-loving-memory-of-jill-jenkins-founder-and-director-of-worldwide-access-to-literacy. These donations will be used to further Jill’s passion for improving literacy across the world.
Jill Thatcher Jenkins 1947 - 2019 Jill (Thatcher) Jenkins, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, age 72, passed away unexpectedly on February 27, 2019, due to complications from a heart attack. She was surrounded by loved... View Obituary & Service Information
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Jill Thatcher Jenkins
1947 - 2019
Jill (Thatcher) Jenkins, beloved...
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